Archive for the ‘College’ Category

Feb. 14 – Day of prayer for student missions

February 9, 2010

On Feb. 12-14, more than 200 college students and leaders from every corner of Texas will gather at First Baptist Church in Midlothian for Go Now Missions Discovery Weekend, a time for students to worship, learn about God’s heart for the nations, minister to the local community and seek the Lord about serving on summer or semester missions this year.  

As this weekend takes place, the Go Now Missions prayer team is asking that churches and individuals dedicate Feb. 14 as the Day of Prayer for Student Missions, covering the students and leaders in prayer as they spend time seeking God and discovering ways they can accept and fulfill the call to take the gospel to all peoples and nations.  

“Committing to pray on Sunday morning when the students are making their last decision about serving in positions can only help and really begin to free up and enlighten the leadership team as they put assignments together, knowing that not only the people in that room are praying but also people at every corner of Texas,” said Ben Edfeldt, director of the Baptist Student Ministry at Midwestern State University and Go Now Missions prayer team leader. 

To get involved with the day of prayer, click through the links below. Prayer requests from students participating in Discovery Weekend will be posted throughout the weekend on the Go Now Missions prayer Web site.  

 

A conversation with Row 3 Seat B – Go Now Missions story

January 4, 2010

Crystal Donahue, a senior mass communication major at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, spent 16 days with a team three other Go Now student missionaries during Christmas break sharing Christ with students in East Asia.  Here’s a glimps into one encounter she had.

Ernesto wasn’t Asian, nor did I meet him overseas. He was just the guy sitting in Row 3 Seat B headed to Texas for work on the same plane as me.

“How was your New Year’s celebration?” he asked as I shoved my backpack under the seat in front of me.

“Good.” I smiled reminiscing on my time overseas. “I spent it in Hong Kong with some good friends.”

He looked at me surprised.

“What about you?” I asked. “How was yours?”

 Ernesto had spent the holidays with his family in California before heading to base in Texas for military duty. He has been in the Army for more than 10 years and was used to treasuring the small amount of time he had with loved ones. He shared a few short stories before centering the conversation on me.

Ernesto was an inquisitive man. I tried to ask him questions about himself, but he was too interested in my journeys.

I explained to him my interest in other cultures, and he was fascinated by it. He then saw the pen on my bag that I had received from the BGCT Annual Meeting that read “End Hunger 2015.” He asked why I was an advocate of world hunger alleviation so I got to share with them some facts about food instability in Texas and the need for hunger ministries. His eyes got big as he became so curious.

“Why do you want to do so much good?” he asked.

 The answer to his question was easy. Out of the overflow of love that Christ has for me, I desire to share with others. But when he questioned me, I don’t know what happened. I built a wall of protection around my faith.

“I have really good parents,” I said. “They set a good example for me, and I want to be like them and serve the community.”

Yes, this was true. But it wasn’t the full truth. For some reason I was hesitant to say that Jesus was the reason for my intentions. I was afraid if I gave him a religious answer that I would lose his interest.

Our conversation turned around, and we began chatting about music and movies until both of us nodded off.

But I wrestled with sleep. I had missed my opportunity to share Christ with this man. On mission trips, it’s implied your conversations will end up about the Lord. In fact, you do all you can to hope that whatever subject you talk about will end with the Gospel.

It’s sad how quickly my mind switched to, “I’m back in America, he probably already knows.” It didn’t take but 12 hours for me to lose my missions-minded attitude after I had seen the Lord do amazing things in East Asia.

Luckily I had some time to pray before the end of the flight.

“Twenty minutes until we land,” the pilot came over the speaker.

I looked at Ernesto. He was staring out the window. He seemed so broken, so hopeless.

“Thank you,” I told him, and he took off his headphones. “Thank you for your service to this country. Thank you for protecting my freedom so that I am able to have the opportunity to travel the world and serve people.”

 He smiled.

While in Asia, I realized how blessed our nation is to have freedom of religion, and this was the perfect opportunity to tell someone who defends my freedom that I am thankful for his service, because he makes my service possible.

Thank the Lord I had the opportunity to share Christ with him and encourage him to go to church and find help. He was broken by circumstance and needed help.

He then told me that he was afraid of church because he hadn’t always made the best choices in life.

The plane landed, and we went our separate ways. It broke my heart to think that this man, like many, feared the church. It bothered me that it took me hours into the flight to tell him Jesus was my passion. We talked about in debriefing the necessity of being on guard and girding up our loins. It didn’t take long for Him to test me in this area.

When off the “mission field,” it’s easy to get off “mission.” Thank goodness He isn’t done teaching when we think we’re through learning.

 “Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” Psalm 139:23-24

Go Now Update – Finding strength in the cold

December 23, 2009

Kennan Neuman, a senior mass communication/journalism major at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, spent  nine days with two other students in Transniestria, volunteering with CERI Ministries to hand out scarves, socks and boots and to share the love of Christ with hundreds of orphans. Here’s what Kennan had to say about the experience. 

Translator Alexei Rotaru and Kennan Neuman walk through downtown Chisinau, Moldova.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

After more than nine hours of flying above the Atlantic Ocean, our plane landed in Moscow, Russia. Passengers clapped. Leslie, my fellow team member, and I looked at each other and smiled. It was good to get our feet on the ground.   

The CERI orphan boot mission team changed for the third time to complete the last leg of travel before reaching Chisinau, Moldova. I knew I was experiencing a different culture already.   

Our destination was to Transniestria, a region between the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. An area many people don’t even know exists.   

While there, we delivered boots, socks, scarves and hats to hundreds of orphans for five days.  

I’m a true Texan girl, and when it’s 60 degrees, I’m wearing a jacket. But the below freezing temperatures of Transniestria didn’t deter me from my ministry during this trip at all. I asked God, “Why did you send me to the coldest place possible?” I froze to the bone. Somehow He puts us where we are least comfortable, places where we have to rely on Him the most for strength.  

On the second day of the trip, I wrote the following:  

My eyes filled full [of tears] to the edges of my lashes. It could have been me there. I don’t deserve any more, and they deserve so much more. They soak in attention like a sponge … (I felt Your presence) when the girl in the yellow sweater grabbed my hand and patted the seat next to her, then talked to me in Russian.  

Later we laughed at seeing the review of her picture on the screen of a digital camera, then she motioned, held both my hands.We jumped up and down laughing. ‘Thank you’ they say in Russian – ‘Spasiba.’ ‘Pazhaista,’ I say. ‘Dasvidania,’ as I wave my hand goodbye…. 

Having toes that were frozen all day from being out in the snow and only getting about six hours of sleep the past few nights is starting to affect me physically, but my spirit has never been stronger.   

Instead of being a barrier to the treasure, the cold actually became the prize. The foot-and-half of snow that fell during our stay was the backdrop to a God-moment.  

Early Thursday morning wearing three layers of clothes, I met Borus, our bus driver-translator extraordinaire, outside. It was just after 6am. We had to shovel the driveway to make a path to the road for the van.  

At one point, the only sound was the cracking of our two shovels digging deep into the freshly fallen snow. The only constancy was the heat I blew from my mouth into the scarf covering my runny nose. Crack. Push. Breathe. Shovel. Exhale.   

It was my first time to shovel snow. The muscles in my back ached already. Borus went inside to retrieve his gloves. Later, David, another team member joined me and then left to find keys to the open the gate. I stopped shoveling.   

Looking up, I saw the dark sky. Ahead of me, an apartment building several stories high. On the ground around me, snow twinkling, sparkling like millions of tiny diamonds. I had “skipped” my regular, planned morning devotion and found Jesus while shoveling snow before the sun came up.   

“You will seek Me, and you will find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 says.   

I found that seeking Him with all my heart doesn’t always mean singing praises in church. It means singing praises in a cold shower that you share with 15 other people. Seeking Him doesn’t always mean reading the Bible alone. It means talking with teammates after dinner about where you saw God working. It meant traveling to a place not many have heard of and being thousands of miles from home for a few days. Seeking Him with all my heart meant, at least that morning, “putting my back into it.”

Go Now Update- A New Global Perspective

December 23, 2009

As Joshua, an international studies major at Texas Tech University serving on a Go Now Missions Christmas trip in the Middle East, spent the last 10 days in the Middle East, he shared that his world view of the area has drastically changed. Many times, mission trips not only provide a way for students to share the hope of Christ to changes others’ lives but also their lives and views of the world are bettered in the process.

In Joshua’s update, he mentioned believers must allow God to provide their world views and not the media, noting how prevalent that is in American society. Below is some of what he shared.

First Impressions: First and foremost, American media gets a grade of F for representing the Middle East.  It is definitely not a complete desert.  Nor is it primitive or nomadic.  The people are not all extremists. And it is definitely not dangerous. In areas where wars are and have been on-going for 30 years, people, even Americans, are comfortably and safely living.

I would say that the downtowns or ghettos of most larger American cities are more dangerous than these areas.  Where in America can one leave one’s cell-phone at a mall bench and be confident it will still be there in three hours or leave one’s house or car unlocked?

Yet, for some reason, I doubt that even if I shouted this messages from the rooftops in America, people would remain skeptical.  It has become ingrained in us the images we conjure up when we hear the words “The Middle East.”

So, what can I do to remedy this misinformed view? Not much unfortunately…You must make the decision to be informed.  All I can do is share my story, and highly recommend you go and see for yourself what the Middle East is really like.  It will change your view and most likely your life.

Students share Christmas hope across the world

December 14, 2009

For many college students, Christmas time is when they flee cramped dorm rooms and hours of studying to enjoy some relaxing time back at home with family and friends. But this Christmas, more than 30 college students from all over the state will be leaving the comfort of home to serve with Go Now Missions, the student missions arm of Texas Baptists, to share the Christmas story and the hope of Christ with people in Texas and around the world.

Teams will be serving at various times Dec. 11 to Jan. 9. Some will place warm boots on orphans’ feet in Moldova. A couple will share the hope of Christmas over coffee in the Middle East. Others will hike through Nicaragua camping in small, remote villages to help with church planting. Another group will host English corners to meet students in East Asia. More will prayer walk and practice English with locals in a North African city. Still others will work on the World Hunger Relief Farm in Texas or meet physical needs through helping with apartment ministries and food pantries at Mission Arlington.

These students go in the name of Christ knowing that they have a story to tell that will change lives. While they are away, several will be blogging here about their experiences. I hope their stories will touch your heart as you read about God working in and through them to spread His story and glory. Please join me in praying during the next month for these students who are eagerly being obedient to the call God has placed on their lives.

FOCUS Hope 2010

September 17, 2009

SFA002

College students all over Texas are impacting their campus and communities through FOCUS Hope weekends. Each year the Collegiate Ministry at the BGCT hosts FOCUS, a state-wide weekend conference designed to encourage, equip and motivate students to reach their campuses with the hope of Christ.

Instead of having one statewide event this year, each college and university Baptist Student Ministry is taking a weekend to be missional and take the hope of Christ to their campuses and communities in partnership with Texas Hope 2010.

This weekend is the official kick-off of FOCUS Hope, although several weekends have already taken place since Aug. 28.

Last weekend, several North Texas universities and colleges met at The Heights Baptist Church in Richardson for a time of worship and service. Several groups helped deliver furniture to international students at the University of Texas at Dallas while others helped paint a house and help with Habitat for Humanity projects.

About 200 students from the BSM at Stephen F. Austin, Kilgore College and Angelina College came together for a time of worship on Friday night and then spent Saturday delivering Texas Hope 2010 gospel presentation CDs to several apartment complexes as well as taking clothing to the elderly through Love Inc.

Gary Davis, director of the SFA BSM, had the following to say about last weekend:

I hope they walked away just with a sense of getting involved and not just being complacent and content with just going to class, but seeing  the need to go and serve. I hope they saw ways they can get involved and help out and not just be students but be servants as well.

As college students spend a weekend serving others, pray that their encounters will encourage them to lead a lifestyle of sharing the hope of Christ and being intentional with their actions. To find a project taking place near you, visit the FOCUS Hope Web site.

Snapshots of Focus

September 21, 2007

More than 2,000 Texas Baptists college students turned out for Focus this year. It was an amazing event.

For a sneak peek into what went on, click on the Texas Baptist Flickr feed on the right of this page. For a slideshow, click here.

Photos by Eric Guel.

Student missions photowalking

August 17, 2007

Each year, hundreds of Texas Baptist college students serve as summer missionaries around the world. What they do, see and experience is amazing. Check out a collection of their photos by clicking here or on the Flickr widget on the right of the page. For what it’s worth, I prefer viewing them as a slideshow, which can be found by clicking here.

Amazing stuff.

Being the hands and feet of Christ

March 29, 2007

2282-for-blog.jpgI love this picture from the University of North Texas Baptist Student Ministries. The students are comparing their rust-covered hands after sanding metal chairs during a mission trip to Mexico.

It reminds me that as Christians we are called to be the hands and feet of Christ wherever we are. Often that means getting our hands dirty.

You can read more about the UNT mission trip in a story written by one of the students. It is posted here.

Missions is a lifestyle

March 27, 2007

I’m working on an article about the Baptist Student Ministries at Stephen F. Austin State University. The students there are known for their commitment to missions around the world. They serve through the BGCT’s student missions program. They serve during Christmas break. They serve during Spring Break. And they serve in their community between trips elsewhere.

Chris Sammons, director of the SFA BSM, says mission work transforms people’s lives. Trip-takers gain a larger picture of how God is working around the world, caring for each person. During our interview, he made two statements that are going to stick with me for some time. I want to share them here:

“We believe that our relationship with the Lord is ultimately about the transformation of life. We are convinced that what God does on mission trips is transform people from the inside out.”

“We’ve seen the results of students that have gone and come back not the same. They’ve seen how God loves people and transform lives.”

God uses mission efforts to expand His kingdom, but also to transform us from within.


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